10/18/2004 11:00PM

Grass runners take turn in spotlight

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JJ Zamaiko Photography
Battle Won, in just his second start on grass, wins the Kentucky Cup Turf Dash. He starts next in the Woodford County.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Turf racing is the common thread in the Keeneland stakes schedule this week. After the Clark County, a turf sprint, is run Thursday, the three stakes that follow also will be run on the turf, beginning with the male counterpart to the Clark County, the Woodford County.

Fields for those three stakes are coming together this way:

In the $75,000 Woodford County on Friday, Battle Won, a sharp winner of the Kentucky Cup Turf Dash in just his second start on grass, will square off against a solid field in this 5 1/2-furlong race. The other probable starters include Chosen Chief, Draw Fire, Justice for Auston, Marley's Revenge, Mighty Beau, and probably one or two more.

Battle Won, trained by Chuck Simon, was purchased privately this summer by Jay Manoogian. A 4-year-old gelding, he had raced exclusively on dirt before being switched to turf for an overnight stakes at Saratoga in early September. He ran an encouraging fourth that day before winning the Turf Dash at Kentucky Downs in his latest start, on Sept. 25.

Marley's Revenge and Chosen Chief were the one-two finishers in an overnight stakes on the Sept. 19 closing-day card at Arlington Park.

In the Grade 3, $100,000 Valley View on Saturday, Keeneland stakes coordinator Dan Bork said a full field of 12 3-year-old fillies is likely for the 1 1/16-mile race. Likely starters are Barnsy, Bay Tree, Beau Watch, Catboat, Lenatareese, Rich Find, Shadow Cast, Sister Swank, and This One for Abbey.

Lenatareese and Sister Swank deserve to rank among the favorites. Lenatareese, trained by David Carroll, captured the July 31 Audubon Oaks at Ellis Park for her third straight victory. In her last start, the Oct. 11 Pebbles at Belmont, she lost all chance by missing the break. Sister Swank, trained by Steve Asmussen, most recently was third in the Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington behind Ticker Tape, who wheeled back last weekend to win the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.

Shadow Cast, trained by Neil Howard, would be a big threat in the Valley View if she can get her outstanding dirt form to transfer to the turf.

The $150,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager (Sunday), a filly-mare turf marathon, serves as the sister race to the Sycamore Stakes, which was run on opening weekend.

Humaita, a German-bred trained by Graham Motion, could be a solid favorite, having won the Grade 3 Glens Falls Handicap at Saratoga two starts back. In her latest appearance, Humaita ran seventh, beaten just two lengths by the victorious Riskaverse, in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl at Belmont.

Conspiring, a California shipper trained by Neil Drysdale, also is expected for the 1 1/2-mile Dowager. Other probables include Aud, winner by disqualification of the Yellow Rose at Lone Star in her latest start, and at least one of three runners that trainer Jonathan Sheppard has nominated: Omeya, Tanwi Spring, or Tikkanita.